The Conchs are also Known as Chank ShellThe conchs are also known as chank shell and it is a significant object in all the rituals performed by the Hindus in the Indian subcontinent. It is believed that the sound of the conch is the sound of victory and success for in epics like Mahabharata and in Bhagavat Gita there are mentions about the conch which was blown by Lord Krishna at the beginning of the battle and then followed by others like Yuddhisthira, Bheema, Arjuna, and so on. Thus this sound of victory and success is generally seen at any auspicious beginning or programs so that the person concerned is welcoming success. During any religious performances like puja or other auspicious ceremonies, this trumpet or the conch shells are used. It is blown at some specific point of worship along with chanting of mantras, ceremonial bells and singing of hymns. This auspicious instrument is mostly used during Lakshmi puja.The role of conch is divine in epics like Mahabharata for it announces the battle.
Conches Hold a Unique Place in the Indian MythologyConches hold a unique place in the Indian mythology for there was extreme importance given to it in the great epic Mahabharata. Special names were given to the conches used by great people like the one used by Lord Krishna was known as Paanchajanya, Arjuna's Devdutta, Bhima's Paundra, Yudhisthira's Anantavijaya, Nakula's Sughosa and Sahadeva's was known as Manipushpaka." A unique conch is always seen holding by Vishnu, the God of Preservation and is said to symbolize life, as it has come out of life-giving waters. It is also believed that when the conch is blown the sacred sound chase away the evil spirits.Medically the blowing of the conch requires lot of power and respiratory competence. So people those days believed that when the conches are blown daily it helps to keep the lungs healthy by improving its capacity.
In Buddhism Conches are Supposed to be one among the Eight Auspicious Symbols-
In Buddhism conches are supposed to be one among the eight auspicious symbols followed by them. The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped the sea and often incorporated conch shells in their art. Scientifically conches are significant in its own way. When we try to hold a conch near our ear we will be able to hear the gentle humming sound of the ocean. The reason behind this sound is that when the natural vibration or the cosmic energy of the earth enters the conch shell it gets magnified. These unique whorls are directed clockwise in perfect synchronization with universal harmony. This natural synchronization helps in expelling of the negative energy and thereby the blowing of the conches has been practiced as a custom during the performance of sacred rites.
Conches Plays a Major Role in the Hindu Religion-Conches plays a major role in the Hindu religion and it signifies sheen, splendour, chastity and propitious. The sound released from the sounding of the conch is compared to that of the auspicious syllable "OM" , which is the first sound of creation and the breath of lord Vishnu. There are legends which say that the conch or the shanka is generally blown to invoke the Lord Shiva or Shankara. The association between Lord Shankara and the Shanka can be seen in the similarities of the words Shanka and Shankara.Conch is also one of the prime emblems of Lord Vishnu which is considered to be the symbol of five elements namely water, fire, air, earth and sky or space. According to Hinduism the origin of Conches took place at the time of Samudra Manthan or churning of ocean.
Two Types of Conches -Left Handed and Right Handed Conch Shell
-Basically there are two types of conches - left handed conch shell and right handed conch shell where the latter is called as Valampiri Shankh or Lakshmi Shankh which is considered to be very auspicious. Conches are also associated with the Lord of Wealth and that's the reason why it is blown at every festival and auspicious beginning for the sound promises freshness and new hope. For worshipping and performing pujas generally the right handed conches are used. Water is stored in the conches and is sprinkled on the deities at the time of performance of puja.Water collected in Shankh with Holy Ganga water, banana, and China rose flower and atop rice - is offered while worshipping Sun. At the time of abhishekam for God in Hinduism the conches are filled with milk and then poured over the idol.